Every marathoner wants to tell you all the things to do during your marathon taper. Are you ready to hear what you shouldn't do?
Number 10: Running a long run of more than 15 miles during your marathon taper. A major cause of poor marathon performance, is not giving the body time to adapt from the final longest run during marathon training.
Number 9: Lowering your mileage while neglecting to run some V02 and lactate threshold workouts. As you taper if you do not run quality workouts at proper intensity your body will lose a lot of your fitness gains. Remember to make these workouts shorter in duration or repetitions.
Number 8: Forgetting to take more rest days. A good rule of thumb is to reduce the number of running days by two the second week of your taper and three the week of the marathon.
Number 7: Neglecting nutrition, as your body begins to repair itself more nutrients are needed to aid in this process. Increase fruits, vegetables, lean protein and fluids during your taper.
Number 6: Forgetting to buy a new pair of running shoes. After training hard your shoes will lose their ability to absorb shock as well as protect your feet and body from injuries. Now is the time to buy new shoes and get them broken in for race day.
Number 5: Cross Training, now is not the time to begin cross training. If you have cross trained during your marathon training, reduce the volume or eliminate completely.
Number 4: Neglecting Sleep, as you begin to feel more and more rested there is a tendency to reduce the number of hours you sleep. Try to stick to a schedule that includes 8 hours of quality sleep each night.
Number 3: Fluids, keeping the body hydrated not only helps your running it also eliminates waste products. As the body repairs itself waste products need to be eliminated as well. Proper hydration aids in this process. Remember to drink an extra 64 oz of water each day.
Number 2: Stress during the week before a marathon can literally wear you out. Let your friends, family and colleagues know that you are going to be unavailable for those extra social and stress causing activities this week.
Number 1: Listening to everyone's advice about how to run your race. After training for up to 20 weeks you get to know what your limits are. Listen to experienced marathoners concerning race tactics such as fluids, gels, etc. Ignore everyone else trying to get you to run their race. If you're a first time marathoner, finish the race in the easiest way possible. More experienced marathoners, race within your capabilities.